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Platylobium formosum

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Bossiaeeae
Genus: Platylobium
Species: Platylobium formosum

Platylobium formosum Sm.

Cheilococca apocynifolia Salisb. ex Sm.
Platylobium formosum var. typicum Domin

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Australasia
Regional: Australia
New South Wales, Queensland

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Smith, J.E. 1793-1795. A specimen of the botany of New Holland. Published and illustrated by James Sowerby. Reference page. : 17, t. 6.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Platylobium formosum in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 28. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Platylobium formosum. Published online. Accessed: Oct 28 2020. 2020. Platylobium formosum. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 28.
Catalogue of Life: 2021 Annual Checklist
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Platylobium formosum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
English: Handsome Flat-pea

Platylobium formosum, also known as handsome flat-pea, is a shrub that is endemic to Australia. It is a member of the family Fabaceae and of the genus Platylobium.


The species is an erect or straggling shrub with wiry stems which usually grows to a height of between 1 and 2 metres. The leaves are opposite with very short, almost unnoticeable petioles. The leaf surface has a pronounced reticulation of veins on the surface and is dark green above and lighter below. The leaf size ranges from 2 to 5 cm in length and 1 to 2.3 cm in width.[1][2]

The flowers appear in spring, between September and November in their native range. These are orange-yellow with a red centre, with red markings in the centre, on the tip of the keel and on the back of the standard. and are supported by a long stalk which is covered by hairs and arises from the leaf axil. The pods which follow are flat, glabrous or hairy and about 2 to 4 cm in length.[1][2]

The species was first formally described by botanist James Edward Smith in 1793 in A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland. The specific epithet formosum is derived from the Latin word for beautiful.

Following a taxonomic review of the genus Platylobium in 2011, plants in Victoria formerly known by this name have been reclassified as P. infecundum, P. montanum, P. parviflorum, P. reflexum or P. rotundum.[3] Plants in Tasmania previously known as P. formosum subsp. parviflorum have been reclassified as Platylobium parviflorum.[4]

This species is found in New South Wales and Queensland.[5] It is common and widespread in habitats ranging from heathland to rainforest margins.

"New South Wales Flora Online: Platylobium formosum". Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia.
Costermans, L. (1981). Native Trees and Shrubs of South-eastern Australia. Australia: Rigby. ISBN 978-0727014030.
Thompson, I.R. (2011). "A revision of Platylobium (Fabaceae: Bossiaeeae)" (PDF). Muelleria. 29 (2): 155–59. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
Baker, M.L.; de Salas. M.F. "A Census of the Vascular Plants of Tasmania - 2012 edition" (PDF). p. 36. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
"Platylobium formosum". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 2 May 2012.

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